Traveling as a wheelchair user comes with its many obstacles, we have to be somewhat cautious with our wheelchairs as theses are essentially our legs, this doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun and immerse ourselves in different cultures; we just have to get a bit creative with how we do things at times. As a powered wheelchair user I’ve learned many tips along the way, If you are a wheelchair user and new to traveling, here are some travel tips for wheelchair users that will hopefully make your next getaway a little easier.
1. Have a packing list
Have you ever had that nagging feeling that you forgot to pack something? It can cause a lot of tension especially when you’re just about to board the aeroplane and being a wheelchair user if you’ve not packed vital equipment you need.
So to clear all doubts, write a list of things you need to pack. Make sure you write your packing list at least 4 days before packing. This will then give you enough time to figure out if you need to write anything else on your list, It will also prevent you from packing in a rush too, your packing list can be the last thing you keep in your bag so as to give you a chance to double-check everything before leaving the house.
2, Wheelchair charger.
When our traveling in your own powered wheelchair it’s always a good idea to pack your wheelchair charger in your hand luggage, you can of course pack it in your suitcase but unfortunately suitcases can go missing all the time, so to be saver rather than stuck without your Wheelchair on holiday.
3. Small Tool bag.
Unfortunately not everyone takes care for your wheelchair or understands that if a wheel comes lose or they un-bolt the back it can render you with no legs essentially.
When I say tools that doesn’t mean packing the tool box; a few Allen keys (always check behind the back cushion as some powered wheelchairs already have an Allen key clipped into the back board). A small spanner can also come in handy plus a few spare cable for the controller wires.
If your wheelchair is equipped with pneumatic tires, bring along a small repair kit containing the items necessary to change a flat. Bicycle repair shops have all types of nifty, compact, repair kits you can bring along.
4. Wheelchair health check,
It’s always a good idea to make sure your wheelchair is in good working order before you leave home, If your chair hasn’t been serviced recently, send it to a repair shop or give wheelchair services a call for a general check over. This extra effort can save the heartache of suffering a breakdown overseas; save the time wasted trying to locate a repair shop and save the time wasted waiting for the repair.
This tip kind of ties with the tools tips, research wheelchair repair shops in the area your staying before you go, things can always go wrong on any trip whether you’re in a wheelchair or not. By being adequately prepared and researching repair shops where your staying before leaving home, you’ll be quickly covered in case anything should happen to your wheelchair, this will save you precious vacation time and allow you to sightseeing instead of researching online at your hotel.
Extra Tip: Blue Badges are recognised in all European countries, it allows you to make use of the same parking concessions as the country’s own citizens with disability, parking concessions for Blue Badge holders can differ from country to country so make sure you check out the local rules: also make sure it’s in date.
Hopefully these five tips will make traveling as a wheelchair user a little easier for you, and give you an idea as to what to expect. Now, get out there and start exploring!
A great quote fI found by Saint Augustine says, “The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only a page.”